August 9th - 10th
The wheat field carpets on the high plains southeast of Grand Coulee Dam went on for miles
Sissy on the bike with Lake Coeur D´Alene in the background
John taking a break from the scenic ride around Lake Coeur D´Alene
John fed our feathered friends just outside our trailer
One of the many barns dotting the landscape around Lake Coeur D´Alene
We hated leaving Steamboat Rock State Park after only 1 night, but it had to be. As you know, we got a late start on the road Friday, and John wasn´t going to be up for driving very long. Besides, campgrounds in this part of the country fill up quick, and we wanted to be able to have a place to stay. We drove out of Washington and into Idaho before we knew it. Sissy checked out our books and discovered there was a rather nice KOA in Coeur D´Alene. It was rated "Gold" and had all the amenities we were looking for; FREE fishing, Adult Only hot tubs, heated swimming pool and a laundry!
Whelp ... not so fast ... there were problems with this KOA that we´ll be reporting to the parent organization later. But, because our web site is our own opinion and because we try to be informative to whoever browses it, we decided to mention just a few of the shortcomings here. First, we were overcharged 10% for arriving on Friday and staying Saturday. The staff didn´t advise us of this extra charge and we only found out about it after checking our receipt. Second, the KOA book indicated this campground provided FREE fishing, but there was no FREE fishing on the grounds. We could´ve fished in Lake Coeur D´Alene after purchasing an out-of-state license for $10.50 (1st day) and $4.00 (2nd day). The explanation from the staff was "It´s not our fault the State of Idaho charges people to fish ... we don´t." Third, the washing machines didn´t have hot water (they were cold only washers). Fourth, the dryers only operated on permanent press and you couldn´t control the heat. There were several other problems, but we think you get the picture. By the way, several people we spoke with had the same opinion we did.
With all that said, we actually had a good time in Coeur D´Alene. Friday afternoon we took the bike into town for some essentials at a local IGA grocery store and then took a short ride after lapping up a chocolate ice cream cone across the street. The ride back to our campground from town got rather interesting while crossing a bridge on I90. The windsocks on the rails and the signs indicating "Frequent High Winds" should have been clues. But, we were caught off guard when the gust blew us sideways for a while. As usual however, we survived and arrived all in one piece (or is that 2 pieces?)
Friday evening was dedicated to doing laundry and chatting with some folks from Everett, Washington. Jim (a supervisor for Boeing Aircraft) and his wife Stephanie were also doing laundry before moving on to Moses Lake in the morning. Stephanie was doing double duty because she was keeping an eye on their 6 year old daughter in the swimming pool. Jim, on the other hand, had his hands full with their 2 year old son. We had a good time telling stories with them while the laundry was tumbling clean. Finally, it was back to the homestead for dinner and then to bed for the night.
Saturday morning John updated the web site, checked email and paid some bills over the internet before we headed out on the bike for a day´s ride around Lake Coeur D´Alene and through the National Forest. We stopped at Squaw Bay Conoco for fuel, and then it was on the Lake Coeur D´Alene Scenic Byway for a very enjoyable all afternoon ride. We stopped at many pull offs for pics and an occasional butt break. We drove past Arrow Point, Turner Bay and Carlin Bay.
Carlin Bay was our late afternoon lunch location at the Carlin Bay Bar and Grill. A small, log cabin building above a lakeside marina was the setting for our chilidog and club sandwich meal. The walls and ceiling were stuffed with pelts from local hunters and trappers, and 2 walls were decorated with thousands of pics from visiting tourists. The doors and windows were open allowing the cool breeze off the lake to come through, and the boaters were in and out while we were there. The meal was delicious, but the service could´ve been a little better.
Back on the road it was the same way we´d arrived. The complete trip around the lake would´ve taken at least 3-4 hours so we decided to call it quits and head back. Besides, the Adult Only hot tubs were getting ready to open and we wanted to take a dip before dinner. And, that´s exactly what we did. The water was hot, and the dip was totally relaxing. Then it was back to the trailer so Sissy could cook her special spaghetti sauce with honey. Boy, was that good!
Saturday evening we updated the web site again with the day´s events, downloaded some pics and simply relaxed while thinking about leaving in the morning and heading to Montana. As you know, Yellowstone National Park was our next big, planned stop, but we´d heard so much about Montana ... we may just have to stay there also!
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